Community Gardens Development

Training Series

Community Gardens Development Training (CGDT) provides community residents with technical assistance, leadership training, horticulture education and start-up materials. This training ultimately helps to carry out the mission of the Civic Garden Center, extending the impact to a broad number of people in Cincinnati. This class is also a great resource for folks interested in becoming involved in an existing community garden or vegetable gardening at home. These classes are free of charge! Many classes are hands-on workshops. CGDT is sponsored in part by the Meshewa Farm Foundation.  For information on 2019 CGDT classes contact



Saving Seeds

Saturday, September 8, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor:  Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC Volunteers)

Collecting seed from plants can be exciting, economical and is essential for preserving genetic diversity of plants. Through discussion and demonstration, find out how to collect and store seed from annuals, perennials and woody plants; learn the best references to use in determining collection techniques.  To register click here.


Sunset Salons: Native Plants, Shrubs, & Trees

September 19, 6 – 8pm
in conjunction with Clifton Cultural Arts Center  (must register through CCAC)
Cost:  $10 in advance / $12 at door

Clifton Cultural Arts Center partners with the Civic Garden Center for a conversation about native flora: learn all there is to know about the importance of plants, shrubs, and trees native to the Greater Cincinnati region. Our experts will cover planting best practices and gardening tips to transform your yard and garden into efficient and beautiful native landscapes.

Featured panelists include Greg Torres, Horticulturist at Civic Garden Center; Kurt Gaertner, Land Manager at Cincinnati Nature Center; and Paul Koloszar, Horticulturist at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens.

Doors open at 6pm for light bites and chocolate desserts courtesy of Haute Chocolate; featured panel conversation begins at 6:15pm. Advance tickets and more details can be found at

Fit in the Garden

Saturday, September 29, 9:00 – Noon
Instructor:  Jeni Houser
Free – (Part of Great Outdoor Weekend)

Fit in the City was created in 2015 as a way to make health + fitness accessible to all, the day is a complete holistic and wellness experience. This Summer Series will be highlighted during the Great Outdoor Weekend and will include a FREE 45 minute workout + coaches, trainers and wellness experts. 

[workout] FREE Workout – 45 minutes that will include the most positive energy, suited for ALL levels, amazing music, from our local trainers in the area. Special guest DJ Diamond 513.

[location] Civic Garden Center is an urban Oasis that focuses on “building community through gardening, education and environmental stewardship.” This Botanical Garden hosts classes, home to a horticultural library, several gardens with free admission, and the Green Learning Station hosts an outdoor compost classroom, and green + sustainable classes to the community and local schools.  The building and grounds are available for event and meeting rental, which makes this venue perfect for Fit in the City.

[explore] The Civic Garden Center will offer FREE tours, a scavenger hunt, and onsite massages to help you wrap up your health retreat day. This is a experience and community building event. JUST show up, mingle, network, eat, drink and PARTY! Madtree will present!

Sign up HERE – Eventbrite Fit in the City – FIRST 25 TO SIGN UP GET A FREE MADTREE BEER!



Cooking with an Abundant Harvest: How to Avoid Food Waste in Your Garden with La Soupe 

Thursday, October 4, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Instructor:  Carolyn Collette
Cost:  $15
Do you have excess produce in your community or home garden? Are you running out of creative ways to use these vegetables as they keep growing in bulk? Let La Soupe, a Food Rescue non-profit, share our tips with you! Learn how to creatively cook so that you don’t get bored or overwhelmed with your harvest.  To register click here.


Soap Making Day Camp

Saturday, October 6, 10:00 am- 12:00 pm & 12:30-2:30 pm
Instructor: Carisa Hund-Bunten, Owner of 7th Street Gifts, Newport, KY
Cost:  $145 per participant, ages 18 and up, registration is required (fee includes cost of materials)
Notes: Ages 18+up, registration required, participants must wear jeans, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes. Bring lunch for between sessions.  Bring your own  water proof gloves and goggles.
This will be a hands-on workshop applying traditional cold process soap making.  Participants will be privy to tricks of the trade in a noncompetitive learning environment that ensures success.  Carisa’s experience applies practical application learned firsthand from crafting and selling handmade soap from her family’s brick and mortar storefront for over 18 years, conducting numerous workshops, as well as receiving formal training in soap making from the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. Safety will be a primary concern while stressing the importance of exact measurements, ingredients, and temperatures while working with lye. Using a variety of recipes and ingredients, you will take home about 6 pounds of customized cold process soap. To register, click here.



Saturday, October 13, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, CGC Horticulturist
Cost: $15 (free for CGC volunteers)
Terrariums got their start around 1830 when Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, trying to incubate moths, found that his glass enclosed contraption had become an ideal home to ferns. The advent of the Wardian case, as it later became called, revolutionized the distribution of plants around the world. Travelers carried hothouse specimens back to temperate regions and now had a means to keep them healthy outside of their native ranges. In this class we will look at the evolution of the Wardian case, and its development into a modern decorative fixture in homes. Participants will understand the basics of how to create and maintain a terrarium.  To register, click here.


*NEW* Climate Change Lecture Series

Unpredictable climate conditions are challenging the way we garden. This three-part series will increase what you need to know about plants, soil, water, and resource conservation in order to surmount the challenges a changing climate presents.  This series is offered through Communiversity. Enrollment is easy – Just a quick phone call (513-556-6932) or a few mouse clicks away at


Current Trends and Emerging Challenges in Horticulture

Thursday, October 11, 6:30-8 pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, Civic Garden Center Horticulturist
Location: The Lloyd Library
Cost: $35 per class/$90 for the series

This class will examine the environmental issues facing intensively cultured plants directly used by man for food, for medicinal purposes, or for aesthetic gratification both within and outside of the horticulture industry. We’ll talk about some basic principles for the future of horticulture so that it can truly play a beneficial and sustainable role in our homes and local environment. We’ll look at practical changes in our own horticultural decision making that will help drive market forces to become more environmentally conscious and sustainable.  This class is offered through Communiversity. Enrollment is easy – Just a quick phone call (513-556-6932) or a few mouse clicks away at


Thriving on Changes & Challenges

Thursday, October 25, 6:30-8 pm
Instructor: Greg Torres, Civic Garden Center Horticulturist
Location: Civic Garden Center
Cost: $35 per class/$90 for the series

It’s become commonplace to turn on the news and hear about remarkable weather events. These weather reports make for interesting conversation and may seem like climate disruption is happening elsewhere, but if you have a home garden you’re most likely seeing the signs of a changing climate right in your own backyard. The plants and practices that used to work just aren’t as reliable now. But we can adapt. We can instill resilience in our yards and gardens.

In this class we’ll look at some of the upcoming conditions gardeners may face and what to do about them. You’ll learn how altered seasonal conditions are affecting dormancy, acclimation and subsequent flowering and fruiting, how to mitigate the impact of more variable precipitation patterns, how to adapt what you plant and when you plant, and how to use integrated pest management strategies to deal with new pests and pathogens.  This class is offered through Communiversity. Enrollment is easy – Just a quick phone call (513-556-6932) or a few mouse clicks away at



Native Landscaping in a Changing Climate

Thursday, November 1, 6:30-8 pm
Instructor: Dr. Cory Christopher , Director of Center for Conservation
Location: Cincinnati Nature Center, Rowe Visitor Center
Cost: $35 per class/$90 for the series

Homeowners who enjoy gardening are often faced with difficult decisions at the garden center or big box store. A menagerie of plants are available for purchase, and each plant has its own specific requirements for water, sun, and soil. Although the decisions we make at the garden center may seem purely aesthetic, what most homeowners don’t realize is that the decisions we make for our yards can impact the astounding diversity of native wildlife all around us. Further, some of the choices we make in and out of our homes may actually be contributing to the negative consequences of climate change.

This course helps homeowners navigate those decisions in a low-pressure, non-judgmental way that is practical and immediately applicable. Learn about the variety of native plant species that are commercially available, specific “lazy gardening” techniques that reduce your work, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support native wildlife, and begin identifying areas of your yard to “re-wild” and let nature regain control. Adapting human-managed landscapes to climate change is an important component to building sustainable systems. Planting native species is one step in the right direction.  This class is offered through Communiversity. Enrollment is easy – Just a quick phone call (513-556-6932) or a few mouse clicks away at

Shitake Madness: Growing Mushrooms on Logs

Saturday, November 3, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Instructor: Wes Duren, Co-owner of Marvin’s Organic Gardens
Cost: $30, or $50 for 2-part series (spring and fall)
This hands-on workshop focuses on the cultivation of shiitake and morel mushrooms on logs. Learn to select, harvest, inoculate and care for logs in order to grow abundant and lasting shiitake and morel mushrooms. Japanese Shitake farmers used to beat their logs as a form of shock to initiate mushrooms to grow! How far will you go to grow your shitake? Logs and spawn will be provided to take home. *Please bring a 1 x 1 cardboard box to get your system started.  To register, click here.



Greens Gatherings

Join us for a CGC annual event! Bring your pruners, wire-cutters and scissors and we’ll provide a bundle of fresh cut greens, some warm refreshments and holiday spirit. A limited quantity of extra greens, novelties and ribbon will be available for purchase. Cost: $30; registration is limited so reserve your spot early!  Choose from these three classes:

Bring Your Own Container

Friday, December 7, 1:00 – 3:00 pm 
Whether your container is an old family favorite, found item or recent purchase, we will help you channel your inner artist to visualize and realize a beautiful table decoration. With special attention being given to mechanics and structural elements, the sky is the limit for accents you would like to bring and include in your work. To register click here.

Table Arrangements

Saturday, December 8, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Enjoy the friendly pace and individual attention from Sue Trusty as you construct a holiday arrangement in your own container. To register, click here.

Wreaths and Swag

Saturday, December 8, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Your neighbors will be “green” with envy when they see your beautiful door decoration! We provide greens, seasonal berries, frames, mechanics and expert instruction from Sue Trusty. Feel free to bring any embellishments to suit your taste or décor. To register click here.